Seattle, WA – This past Friday, March 6th, executive director of the George Pocock Rowing Foundation, Matthew Lacey announced the beginning of a new partnership between USRowing, the national governing body of the sport of rowing in the US, and the Pocock Foundation to expand their Seattle-wide indoor rowing education program to a national platform. Since 2010, the Erg Ed program has operated as an integrated component of Seattle Public Schools’ “Five for Life” physical education curriculum. Erg E introduces students to the sport of rowing - a low-impact and deeply team-oriented sport – while also connecting students to opportunities for on-the-water rowing at their own neighborhood boathouse.
Deputy Director of the Pocock Foundation, Karla Landis explains, “Erg Ed is great because it meets students where they are – in the classroom – and it’s an explicit invitation to young people to try something new, particularly to youth who would never otherwise think of rowing.”
Rowing has long been a part of Seattle’s history, through the influence of rowing greats like George Yeoman Pocock and his son, Stanley Richard Pocock, and because of the large amount of calm, freshwater area in the city itself. Over 41% of the city area of Seattle is devoted to water. Amongst the 30 most populous cities in the US, Seattle ranks 3rd in amount of area devoted to water (San Francisco and Boston place 1st and 2nd respectively). In its effort to increase access to this traditionally elite sport, the Pocock Foundation has become a national model for breaking down barriers to participation in youth rowing. USRowing will use the Erg Ed program and the city of Seattle as a platform to introduce rowing to cities nationwide.
USRowing CEO, Glenn Merry shares his own enthusiasm for expanding the sport: “Rowing is an agent for good, and an agent for change. Through rowing, youth in America can obtain better fitness and health. They can be part of something larger than themselves—a team where they can achieve new and greater opportunities in life.”